June 9, 2012
David Sanger's War on Iran
by Stephen Lendman
Sanger is New York Times chief Washington correspondent. Previously he held other posts. He's reported on foreign policy, globalization, Asian issues, and nuclear-related ones.
Cooperatively with other Times correspondents, he won two Pulitzer Prizes. Its board might consider retracting them.
After Obama's 2009 inaugural address, his characterization of the new president was dishonest and delusional. He called his new administration "a stark repudiation of the era of George W. Bush and the ideological certainties that surrounded it."
His connection to Chicago politics and monied interests reflected otherwise. So did his Illinois and US Senate records. Policies he supported told all. Few took time to check.
He backs the worst of ideological extremism. As president, his agenda reflects it. The pseudo-left still backs him. Not a dime's worth of difference separates him from Romney and other hardline Republicans.
Sanger's reporting on Iran is hostile and biased. Pro-Western misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure.
On May 27, he and another Times correspondent headlined, "After Talks Falter, Iran Says it Won't Halt Uranium Work," saying:
Statements by Iran's nuclear program head, Fereydoon Abbasi, suggests Iran is "veering back to a much harder line after talks in Baghdad with the West....ended badly."
Western demands were unreasonable. Iran complies fully with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty provisions. Washington spurns them. So does Israel.
Iran's entitled to be treated like all other nuclear states. Chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, affirmed its right. It doesn't engage in nuclear talks to surrender. Its legitimate rights are inviolable. Good journalism recognizes them.
It negotiates in good faith. Washington and other P5+1 countries spurn it. Resolving issues equitably can't happen without willing partners. From inception, the Islamic Republic lacked them. They have no Western ones now.
Sanger's new book is titled "Confront and Conceal." It discusses Obama's foreign policy. NPR's Terry Gross interviewed him. On air he called Obama aggressive. The "essence of the Obama doctrine," he said, is "act(ing) quite strongly and quite unilaterally" when America "has (a) direct interest."
He pressures others to participate and share costs. He discussed AfPak, the so-called Arab Spring, China and North Korea inaccurately. US television news viewers are profoundly uninformed. So are readers of Sanger's book.
He called Iran's nuclear program a "direct threat to the US."
Iran hasn't attacked another country in over two centuries. It threatens none now. Western states, Israel, and regional states know it. Nonetheless, they claim otherwise.
In contrast, America wages permanent wars on humanity. It ravages nations one at a time or in multiples. It seeks unchallenged global dominance. Replacing independent regimes with puppets is policy. Sanger didn't explain.
Like other Times correspondents, he points fingers the wrong way. He betrays readers. He gives them managed news, information, and analysis. Accurate reporting isn't his style.
His book discusses Obama's wars. He discussed "his surprising use of American power." Why surprising wasn't explained. All presidents in US history were belligerent. Since established, America has been at war at home and/or abroad every year in its history.
Perhaps Obama surprised by waging so many and planning more. The peace candidate prevents it to wage war. His appetite is insatiable. Hawkishness defines his agenda. So is talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.
One war leads to others. Proxy ones are waged. Perhaps he has a nuclear one in mind. Enormous sums are spent. Secret amounts aren't disclosed. Homeland needs go begging. Warmaking may eventually leave only roaches and bacteria behind.
For years, Washington pushed the envelope with Iran. So far, it's been short of hot war. It involves sanctions, subversion, destabilization, fake accusations, targeted assassinations, a failed color revolution, isolation, agitprop, and cyberwar.
In spring 2010, Iranian intelligence discovered Stuxnet malware contamination. The computer virus infected its Bushehr nuclear facility. At the time, operations were halted indefinitely.
Israel was blamed. Washington was also involved. Had the facility gone online infected, Iran's entire electrical power grid could have been shut down.
A more destructive virus called Flame malware is known. Internet security experts say it's 20 times more harmful than Stuxnet. Iran's military-industrial complex is targeted. So is its nuclear program. Maximum disruption is planned.
Sanger's "Olympic Games" chapter covers the scheme. It's code language for joint US/Israeli subversion. Key is corrupting Iran's nuclear enrichment program. Centrifuges are targeted.
What harms Iran can disrupt US and Israeli computer systems and infrastructure. Subversion cuts both ways. Effectiveness depends infecting computers. One way is by loading the virus into thumb drives Iranian nuclear technicians use privately.
Perhaps unknowingly they'll plug them into government computer systems. Destroying them depends on infecting and controlling them.
Plant operators were "clueless," said Sanger. "There were no warning lights, no alarm bells, no dials gyrating wildly. But anyone down in the plant would have felt, and heard, that the centrifuges were suddenly going haywire. First came a rumble, then an explosion."
"Olympic games is an effort to get into the Iranian centrifuge system with a computer worm that was a very elaborate effort to get through the defenses the Iranians had built up…send in a worm that would speed up or slow down those centrifuges until they began to blow up."
It's also about waging war other ways. Flame potentially may do more damage than bombing.
New millennium warfare reflects this type sophistication. Opposing sides vie with each other to be most disruptive.
Kaspersky Lab researchers discovered Flame malware. They call it the most sophisticated cyber weapon known.
Kaspersky chief security expert Aleks Gostev said:
"Flame can easily be described as one of the most complex threats ever discovered. It's big and incredibly sophisticated. It pretty much redefines the notion of cyberwar and cyberespionage."
It raises cyberwar stakes. ZDNet's Zack Whittaker calls it "an attack toolkit." Iran's been hit hard. PC Mag.com's Chloe Albanesius said its operations have at least 189 infections. Israel/Palestine is second with 98 known. Syria has 30.
Computer Business Review's Steve Evans says exact entry points and methods used to penetrate are unclear. However, once Flame infects a network, "it can start to sniff traffic and can perform other tasks such as taking screenshots, recording audio conversations and intercepting the keyboard."
Wired's Kim Zetter says it opens a backdoor to infected systems. It lets attackers "tweak the toolkit and add new functionality."
According to ITProPortal's Rawiya Kameir:
The "sheer complexity of Flame suggests it is a government operation and not the work of petty cybercriminals." Its origins are unknown.
Eugene Kaspersky said cyberwar risks are "one of the most serious topics in the field of information security for several years now." Worldwide concerns are raised.
Flame is the newest and most sophisticated weapon. Washington and Israel use it against Iran, Syria and other enemies.
Sanger said Obama supporters are surprised by his aggressiveness. Cyberwar is one of many ways. He's been "very direct" in the use of US power.
Olympic Games mainly targets Iran. Tehran knows what's going on and who's responsible. Obama's directly involved. So are top Israeli officials.
Cyberwar is waging conflicts by other means. Non-lethal weapons can be more destructive than conventional ones. Iran is target one. Washington and Israel are vulnerable.
Disruption cuts both ways. Expect whatever works well to become more sophisticated. Non-lethal wars can precede and/or accompany hot ones.
America and Israel represent global threats. Misreporting by Sanger and others like him facilitate their schemes.
Instead of urging peace and conflict resolution, scoundrel media promote wars and regime change.
Imagine the good they could do by supporting right over wrong. Imagine the benefits of peace, good will, and mutual respect. Imagine a world safe to live in. Why not if enough people work hard enough for it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.